Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sketchboards: discover better + faster ux solutions

The use and value of the sketchboard technique ...

"The sketchboard is a low-fi technique that makes it possible for designers to explore and evaluate a range of interaction concepts while involving both business and technology partners. Unlike the process that results from wireframe-based design, the sketchboard quickly performs iterations on many possible solutions and then singles out the best user experience to document and build upon.

It’s what we do well
Designers love the “breakthrough moments” in a working relationship. Those times when you suddenly reveal a picture of a solution that really nails the problem and gives everyone on the team a reason to cheer. Such moments bring together many of the most valuable capabilities of a designer, as follows:

* The ability to convey a solution pictorially
Showing a solution is more vivid and far less abstract than talking or writing about it; pictures are both louder and more clear than words.
* The ability to presuppose new solutions
Despite incomplete information about the problem, designers make instinctual leaps to offer potential solutions that would not have been arrived at through deductive logic alone. Designers push the boundaries beyond the obvious alternatives.
* The ability to fuse together a solution from competing constraints
Design constraints solved one by one can create an unwieldy solution. Great designers arrange components of a solution into a whole that is more elegant than the sum of its parts.

The trouble is that these moments are all too rare on normal design and development projects. After a designer sinks time into communication, requirements gathering, and documentation, there is precious little time to create amazing results.

Where wireframes fear to tread
The wireframe—default design tool of most UX professionals—is a significant part of this problem. While wireframes are often necessary at the end of a process to clearly document and communicate the design, using wireframes earlier in the design process focuses time and attention on all the wrong details and activities.

We often find UX designers working to define and arrange elements on a page when the real issue to confront may be much broader in scope, such as “Does the page need to exist at all?” or “How best can these series of interactions flow together?” Wireframes force your design solutions into a certain level of granularity that can’t match the big juicy problems you face. A design process starts with struggles against scope, flow and gestalt. Yet wireframes arm you with mere dropdown fields and “lorem ipsum."    (Continued via adaptive path)    [Usability Resources]

A continuation of this topic and a video can be seen at adaptive path

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